Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

Vaccine Therapy in Treating Patients With Stage III or Stage IV Melanoma

This study has been completed.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Pawel Kalinski, University of Pittsburgh Identifier:
First received: October 18, 2006
Last updated: December 23, 2015
Last verified: December 2015

RATIONALE: Vaccines made from a person's dendritic cells mixed with tumor peptides and proteins may help the body build an effective immune response to kill tumor cells. Infusing the vaccine directly into the lymphatic system may cause a stronger immune response and kill more tumor cells.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase I trial is studying the side effects and best dose of two dendritic cell vaccines in treating patients with stage III or stage IV melanoma.

Condition Intervention Phase
Melanoma (Skin)
Biological: polarized dendritic cells
Biological: non-polarized dendritic cells
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Phase I Evaluation of Alpha-Type-1 DC-Based and cDC-Based Intralymphatic Vaccines in Patients With Metastatic Melanoma

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Pittsburgh:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Safety of intralymphatic autologous type-1-polarized dendritic cell vaccine and autologous mature dendritic cell vaccine [ Time Frame: 7 years ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Assess immune responses to each dendritic cell vaccine outcome [ Time Frame: 7 ]

    i. Peripheral blood CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses against HLA-presented melanoma epitopes, and (in patients with available tumor tissue) against autologous tumor cells, and using IFNγ-, and IL-5- ELISPOT assays. CD8+ T cell responses (IFNγ ELISPOT) will be used as a secondary readout: the sum of the specific ELISPOT counts obtained (at week 8) with each of the individual HLA-A2-restricted peptides (less the respective counts obtained before the treatment), will be considered as a primary indication of the vaccine effectiveness.

    ii. Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) response to the mix of the melanoma-related peptides, injected intradermally in vivo, and DTH to autologous tumor lysates, in all cases when autologous tumor tissue is available.

    iii. Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses to KLH and PADRE injected intradermally in vivo.

Enrollment: 22
Study Start Date: October 2006
Study Completion Date: January 2015
Primary Completion Date: May 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: peptide-pulsed type-1-polarized dendritic cells
intralymphatic vaccination with peptide-pulsed type-1-polarized dendritic cells (aDC1)
Biological: polarized dendritic cells
Experimental: peptide-pulsed mature non-polarized dendritic cells (cDCs)
intralymphatic vaccination with peptide-pulsed mature non-polarized dendritic cells (cDCs)
Biological: non-polarized dendritic cells

Detailed Description:



  • Compare the safety of intralymphatic autologous type-1-polarized dendritic cell vaccine vs autologous mature dendritic cell vaccine loaded with antigenic peptides and proteins in patients with stage III or IV melanoma.


  • Determine peripheral blood CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell responses to HLA-presented melanoma epitopes and autologous tumor cells using interferon gamma and interleukin-5 ELISPOT assay.
  • Compare the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses to these regimens and DTH to autologous tumor lysates in these patients.
  • Compare the DTH response to keyhole limpet hemocyanin and pan-DR epitope (PADRE) in these patients.
  • Correlate treatment-associated changes in immune response with clinical outcome.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, open-label, dose-escalation study. Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 formulations of dendritic cell (DC) vaccines.

  • Arm I: Patients receive intralymphatic autologous type-1-polarized (by interleukin-1-beta, tumor necrosis factor [TNF] alfa, interferon alfa, poly-I:C, and interferon gamma) DC vaccine that has been loaded with tumor-related peptide antigens (gp100:209-217[210M] peptide, tyrosinase peptide, MART-1:27-35 peptide, MAGE-3/6, and EphA2) and proteins (keyhole limpet hemocyanin [KLH; first course] or pan-DR epitope [PADRE] [second course]) every 6 hours on days 1-4 of weeks 1 and 6.
  • Arm II: Patients receive intralymphatic autologous mature (by interleukin-1-beta, TNF alfa, interleukin-6, and prostaglandin E_2) DC vaccine that has been loaded with tumor-related peptide antigens and proteins as in arm I every 6 hours on days 1-4 of weeks 1 and 6.

Patients achieving complete response receive 2 more courses of treatment (3 months apart). Patients achieving partial response receive up to 10 more courses of treatment (1 month apart) in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

In each arm, cohorts of 4-7 patients receive escalating doses of DC vaccine until the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) is determined. The MTD is defined as the dose at which no more than 1 of 7 patients experience dose-limiting toxicity.

Blood samples are obtained at baseline and periodically during and after treatment. Samples are examined by immunoenzyme techniques for immunologic measurements.

After completion of study therapy, patients are followed periodically for 10½ years and then annually thereafter.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 40 patients will be accrued for this study.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Pathologically confirmed stage III or IVA (M1a) melanoma

    • Recurrent and inoperable disease
    • Any tumor thickness and any number of lymph nodes involved
    • Asymptomatic cutaneous and nodal disease allowed
    • Asymptomatic pulmonary metastatic disease (stage IVB, M1b) allowed
  • No advanced symptomatic visceral disease, including any symptomatic visceral organ involvement, or disease associated with increased serum lactic dehydrogenase > 2.5 times upper limit of normal (stage IVC, M1c)
  • Standard curative or palliative measures do not exist or are no longer effective
  • Sufficient numbers of monocytes (≥ 20 x 10^6) must be obtained for the preparation of the vaccine

    • If an insufficient number of cells is obtained on first venipuncture, a second venipuncture may be performed (not exceeding 550 mL of blood within 8 weeks)
  • No brain metastases by contrast-enhanced CT scan or MRI

    • Prior brain metastases allowed provided they were successfully treated and patient has been asymptomatic for ≥ 3 months
  • HLA-A2 positive


  • ECOG performance status 0-1
  • Life expectancy ≥ 6 months
  • Granulocyte count ≥ 1,500/mm³
  • Lymphocyte count ≥ 500/mm³
  • Platelet count > 70,000/mm³ (for venipuncture/pheresis procedure)
  • Creatinine ≤ 1.5 times upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • AST and ALT ≤ 2.5 times ULN
  • Gamma-glutamyl transferase ≤ 2.5 times ULN
  • Lactic dehydrogenase ≤ 2.5 times ULN
  • Alkaline phosphatase ≤ 2.5 times ULN
  • Bilirubin ≤ 1.5 times ULN
  • No active infection
  • No sensitivity to drugs that provide local anesthesia
  • No pain uncontrolled by oral analgesics, including opiates and opiate analogs
  • No active autoimmune disease
  • No HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C positivity
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • No other malignancy except for nonmelanoma skin cancers or carcinoma in situ of the cervix, or other malignancy for which the patient has been continuously disease-free for ≥ 2 years


  • Recovered from prior surgery
  • No radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy within the past 4 weeks (6 weeks for nitrosoureas or mitomycin C)
  • No antibiotics within the past 7 days
  • No systemic immunosuppressive agents, including steroids, within the past 4 weeks

    • Concurrent maintenance steroids for adrenal insufficiency allowed
  • No other concurrent anticancer investigational or commercial agents or therapies
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00390338

United States, Pennsylvania
UPMC Cancer Center at Magee-Womens Hospital
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15213
UPMC Cancer Centers
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15232
Sponsors and Collaborators
Pawel Kalinski
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Principal Investigator: Ahmad A. Tarhini, MD, MS University of Pittsburgh
  More Information

Responsible Party: Pawel Kalinski, Professor of Surgery and Immunology, University of Pittsburgh Identifier: NCT00390338     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 03-118
CDR0000504518 ( Registry Identifier: PDQ (Physician Data Query) )
NCI-2009-00125 ( Registry Identifier: CTRP (Clinical Trials Reporting System) )
Study First Received: October 18, 2006
Last Updated: December 23, 2015

Keywords provided by University of Pittsburgh:
recurrent melanoma
stage IV melanoma
stage IIIA melanoma
stage IIIB melanoma
stage IIIC melanoma

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neuroendocrine Tumors
Neuroectodermal Tumors
Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue
Nevi and Melanomas processed this record on April 21, 2017